The other day, I was conversing with a friend about the concept of deception – and we got down to talking for quite a while. And with good reason too! Every day, tales of deception swarm us. Its spawns gravitate towards us as the days go by.
I am not the most thoughtful and reflective of people, but for quite a while, it did get me thinking.
What exactly is deception, and who are its worst emissaries?
Well, first off, deception is as old as time. That’s a given.
As man spawned into being and developed a drive to survive, he realized that he had competition. Within and without, in a world of limited resources. A perpetual competition that would haunt him until he would wither into oblivion. Some of these, he surmounted by brute force and overbearing dominance.
However, as the years went by, the stakes got higher. Brawn began to prove futile, and cunning – maybe even underhanded means – came into the picture. They incurred less physical collateral damage, and so were somewhat more efficient, among his contemporaries and even other species. Hence, deception has thrived till this day, its roots digging deep and branches ramifying into the skies.
With the changing terrain and current systems in the world today, deception has evolved into different forms too! The motivations behind it now fall into an even wider spectrum. From those spurred by stakes of astronomical proportions to those that one would deem as “petty” as they come.
Nonetheless, there is still a common root. The desire to throw suspecting noses off your tail and take advantage of them. To rid them of “valuables” – abstract or concrete – with calculated cunning.
Deceivers now come in different sizes and shapes too. Their methods are just as diverse too, particularly when you really get into the intricacies! However, one might say they fall under two broad groups.
The disguisers; the ones who cloak their dark, unpleasant parts so well and present a faux faultless, innocent, or polished version of themselves. These are the “good guys” and strike when your defence is at its weakest.
Then, the second group. The deceivers that dull your senses and distort your perception, all the while never shying away from acknowledging who they REALLY are. They are unashamedly open about their toxicity and they act it out. These are the kinds of people that come into your life and your alarm system immediately picks up their toxicity. However, for some reason, you ignore the signs long enough for “warning blares” to be drowned out of your subconscious.
It is without a doubt that it does take a great deal of effort and cunning for deceivers to keep up an act and play the part for even long periods until they reach their goals. It is as intriguing as they come.
However, what is even more intriguing is being able to do so without lurking in the shadows of obscurity. The first bunch of deceivers may be masters of disguise, but they do all but mess up your alarm system or dull your senses. They hide. But the latter does exactly the opposite – without any suspicion! That takes an even greater deal of mastery and cunning – and there is no doubt that the latter are certainly the most troublesome bunch! Sometimes, only a third party really can snap you out of the faux reality they plunge you into.
It is one thing to “change” oneself to deceive someone. It is another to deceive someone by “changing” them.
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